Marc McGowan reports on the www.afl.com.au website about the reaction in the United States to the extraordinary success of Texan, Mason Cox, ahead of his AFL Grand Final appearance tomorrow. Cox has already captured the imagination of Australians, but as the AFL’s biggest game of the year draws closer, Americans are realising the magnitude of his achievements.
AMERICAN Mason Cox's extraordinary Australian football journey to Saturday's AFL Grand Final is finally gaining traction in the Collingwood giant's home country.
The United States media's relative lack of interest until now pales in comparison to the fanfare the 211cm forward has long received in Australia.
As part of the lead-up to the AFL Asian Championships in Kuala Lumpar next month, World Footy News will be presenting information and backgrounds on some of the teams headed to the event. This article features player profiles courtesy of veteran Chinese national footballer, Zhang Hao.
The following profiles are or the eight Chinese nationals who will be playing for the Reds next month as the Chinese team prepares to take on the best in Asia and flex some muscle. The game is expanding at an exciting rate through the clubs based in Beijing (Bombers), Shanghai (Tigers) and the teams of the SCAFL (South China Australian Football League) centred around Guangzhou (Guangdong Province), Hong Kong and Macau.
Gaelic Football star Yvonne Bonner is the second CrossCoders athlete signed up today. She has joined the GIANTS as a rookie signing for the 2019 AFL Women’s season.
Bonner, from Donegal in Northwest Ireland, is set to follow in the footsteps of Cora Staunton by becoming the second Irishwoman to sign for the GIANTS AFLW team.
The 31-year-old, who has been nominated for her second All-Star award, is hoping to have the same impact as Staunton, who lit up the competition with her attacking flair and unique kicking style in 2018.
Kuala Lumpar is preparing for the upcoming AFL Iflix Asian Championships on Saturday 13th October. With the release of the draw this week, large scale of the event becomes clearer. Teams from across the length and breadth of Asia will be there, and training for the travelling squads is in full flight.
According to the event hosts, “the Malaysian Warriors Australian Rules Football Club warmly welcome competing teams, family, friends and spectators to the 19th AFL Asian Championships, Kuala Lumpur! This year’s event is set to be the largest Asian Championships in the history of the tournament with a record 22 teams registered to participate including the inaugural AFLW Championships.”
“As Australian Rules football continues to grow across the region we’re excited to be hosting this year’s Championships and look forward to a huge weekend of Aussie Rules at its Asian finest.”
The first Oceania graduate to crack it for a senior AFL match and senior listing - Kiwi Kurt Heatherley - has not been offered a contract for 2019 by the Hawthorn Football Club. Kurt came through the AFL Oceania and South Pacific pathway before relocating from New Zealand to Melbourne and completing his schooling at Caulfield Grammar.
Five years ago as an 18 year old he accepted an International scholarship offer from Hawthorn and as reported at the time by Emma Quayle (the Age) he was set to become one of the most (internationally) travelled AFL players.
Prior to the 2016 season Kurt was upgraded to the Hawks senior list, and in round 20 of 2016 made his senior debut against Melbourne at the famous MCG in front of a tick under 39,000 fans. In 2017 a further 4 games followed - twice versus Collingwood (over 50K each time) and a trip to Tasmania for a draw against the Giants at York Park in Launceston; before a last senior hit out against Geelong in a 3 pt loss in Round 17 of 2017 in front of 70K at the MCG.
Injuries hampered his progress, this year with a only 2 VFL games prior to June and unfortunately after a solid stretch through winter he succumbed to a hamstring injury in August that ruled him out of the successful Box Hawks finals campaign.
After beginning his time at the Hawks during their golden era of the 2013-15 three-peat; in more recent times other players have moved ahead of him in the Hawthorn backline. Hopefully though he might find another home in the AFL and wouldn't be a bad fit at a number of clubs.
Riley Beveridge from the www.afl.com.au website filed the following story looking at the success of Carlton’s Irish import, Ciaran Byrne. Usually stories about Irish footballers trace their journey from Ireland to the AFL. However, Byrne has reversed the trend, returning to Ireland to play in a local match.
CARLTON defender Ciaran Byrne has returned to Ireland and become a hero in his local county, starring in a surprise appearance for his boyhood Gaelic side over the weekend.
Byrne suited up alongside his older brother Declan for his home club St Mochta, helping it defeat Mattock Rangers to reach the Louth Village team's Intermediate Championship final.
The 23-year-old came on as a second-half substitute, making his first Gaelic appearance since joining Carlton as a Category B rookie from County Louth at the end of 2013.
The past two evenings I got to see a great initiative that will hopefully change the way the AFL and their recruiters think about women playing Australian football and other sports overseas when it comes to filling out their lists. They have decided that this opportunity cannot be ignored and have delivered these athletes from across the world on a plate for AFLW list consideration.
It is a very professionally run setup both in terms of personnel and facilities and looks to be just the first iteration of what hopefully will be a successful program for years to come.
The Solna Axemen have made amends for last season’s grand final defeat by taking out the 2018 SAFF (Stockholm Australian Football federation) premiership last weekend. In a great day for the club, the Axemen defeated the Norrtälje Dockers by 33 points in a comprehensive victory.
In a landmark day for the club, the pain of last year’s grand final defeat to the Södermalm Blues was erased. Whatever pledges were made in the darker hours of 2017, were kept by a team with a mission. The final score on the day saw the Solna Axemen 10 7 67 defeat the Norrtälje Dockers 5 4 34.
It was the seventh SAFF Premiership flag for the Solna Axemen since their inception in 2006, enhancing their status as the most successful SAFF club since competition started in 2004. It was also the first flag for the Solna team since 2014.
After last weekend’s DAFL Grand Final, the Copenhagen Giants are the toast of Denmark. They are truly the giants of Denmark after downing perennial Danish powerhouse, the Farum Cats to take their second DAFL Premiership.
On a wet and windy afternoon, the day actually favoured the Cats early. Using whatever climatic advantage available, the Cats kicked three first quarter goals to open up a handy 21-point lead. They kept the Giants goalless for the quarter, and would have felt very pleased with their efforts to set up a premiership.
However, that was as far as the Cat charge went. By half time, the Giants had trampled all over that lead, lifting their own intensity and capitalising on whatever conditions that would help to slam home five goals for the quarter and lead by five points. Not a premiership-winning lead, but a quarter that defined the determination of the Giants.
It was a great day for the Hawks be it under the Box Hill or Hawthorn banner, one of the best AFL/VFL alignments shone through. The Box Hill Hawks winning the men’s final by 10 points over the Casey Demons and the women’s in their first season under the Hawthorn title (Box Hill formerly) winning by 13 points over Geelong.
VFL Women's Grand Final
A tight first quarter of the VFL Women’s Grand Final with the Hawks first on the board through Tamara Luke. Maddie Boyd evened things up for the Cats later in the quarter with a low flat drop punt through the middle. Then Hawks had the better of the contest in the quarter but could not convert their forward 50 opportunities with Pearce marking Sarah Perkins closely. A two point lead to the Hawks at the first break.
Over the years, players from international or multicultural by birth backgrounds have polled well on Brownlow Medal night. Jim Stynes won the Brownlow Medal in 1991 and remains the most successful international player. However, other players to have polled well over the years include Pearce Hanley (Brisbane & Gold Coast) and Tadgh Kennelly (Sydney) among others.
Tonight at the Brownlow Medal count, Mason Cox (Collingwood), Jason Johannisen (Western Bulldogs) an Aliir Aliir (Sydney Swans) each polled three votes. If an award were given, Mason Cox would not win as he incurred a suspension during the season. If an award were based on the most three votes (as the Brownlow once was) then Johannisen would win as his votes came from one best on ground performance.